Friday, May 22, 2015

Snickers Dates

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I know it's not much but I want to thank everyone who has served and is serving our country. In particular, my Father, Grandfathers, Father-in-law, Aunt and Uncles. Thank you! You have a special place in my heart.
And thank you to those whose family members have served and serving! You have my prayers.
There is a way you can make your snickers and eat it too! They take three simple ingredients and only a minute to put together.
There is a raw alternative or if you prefer to not use chocolate chips. Mix 1/4 cup raw cashew butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon raw honey. Use this to spread on dates.
Although made healthier, these are still a treat. But with natural ingredients and good fats from nut butters, they make indulging guilt-free.

Plus, they are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and yummy! Use unsweetened sunflower seed butter for nut-free option. Try tahini for a different flavor and to tone down sweetness.
Snickers Dates
Soft medjool Dates
Chocolate chips (dairy-free if needed)
Cashew butter or Peanut butter (for more authentic snickers flavor)
Open dates on one side with knife or hands. Slide out pit. Spread date with nut butter of choice and top with chocolate chips.

And have a great weekend!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo (vegan)

This Alfredo sauce is paleo friendly, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, coconut free, and yeast free. Don't you feel so free?
Frankly, I'm surprised it's not made of air! But actually this alfredo sauce centers around a vegetable. I'm all about getting more veggies in your diet. Red Velvet brownies is a great example.

But really you can turn this:


And maybe you happened upon this recipe somehow and you're not doing the whole dairy-free thing. In fact, you may be appalled at the idea! But really you must try this roasted cauliflower sauce (you can add a little parmesan, no judgment here).
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
1 1/4 cup broth
1 head cauliflower
4-7 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TB lemon juice
2/3 cup sesame seeds
Sea Salt or Herbamare, to taste
Pinch of parsley and basil
1. Wash and chop cauliflower into florets.
2. In a baking dish, add cauliflower, garlic and 1/4 cup broth.
3. Roast at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes until cauliflower is cooked through and starting to brown.
4. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over noodles with steamed asparagus or use on a pizza (details below).
Big Blue Eyes is learning to twirl her noodles. I remember when my Dad first taught me. A fond food memory!
This sauce also makes great pizza sauce alternative. We used half the above sauce on Namaste crust pizza with sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. It was yummy, especially with a  drizzle of balsamic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Red Velvet Beet Brownies with Buckwheat and Beets

First, let's clarify buckwheat is gluten-free. Whoever named it didn't give a thought to how confusing that may be (hashtag gluten-free problems, no?). Buckwheat is actually a seed. Though "buckseed" doesn't sound anymore appetizing.

So let's turn our thoughts to something more appetizing... like brownies. Red velvet brownies.

These brownies are delicious. Mousse-like and somewhat earthy with the undertone of beets. It's a beautiful purple before you bake:
Free of nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs. And you get a serving of veggies! What isn't there to like?
Looking for more recipes involving buckwheat? Try our Buckwheat Carrot Cake Cupcakes or Sprouted Chocolate Love Granola.
Or maybe you are really into the red velvet cake flavor? Try some Red Velvet Cake Smoothie.
Red Velvet Brownies
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, preferably freshly ground
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large beets, steamed and peeled
3/4 cup maple syrup (or other high-quality liquid sweetener such as honey)
1/2 tsp vanilla stevia*
1 TB vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil (I used warm coconut oil but feel free to use grapeseed oil or avocado oil)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chocolate chips
*I use NuNaturals Nustevia Alcohol Free Stevia. So far, its the least bitter stevia I've tried. But you can also make your own with this recipe and double the amount.
If you prefer to skip the stevia. You can add another 1/4 cup maple syrup (and subtract that amount of coconut milk) and mix chia seeds with coconut milk and maple syrup.

1. Mix chia seeds and coconut milk. Stir. Let rest at least 20 minutes.
2. In blender, add all ingredients and blend to combine (alternatively you can puree just the beets and in a bowl incorporate other ingredients but I like this one-dirty-dish option).
3. Pour into a 9x13 greased with coconut oil. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (some people like more, some like less).
4. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Penne with Arugula, Peas and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts

This recipe came about as I was trying to come up with a vegan alternative to chopped bacon. Something savory, sweet, salty and crunchy all in one bite. That I could sprinkle on rice and salads or just snack on with a piece of fruit.

I actually like pasta salad that combines leafy greens and some cooked pasta. There has been some difficulty in finding a gluten free pasta that eats well at any temperature. I prefer the Tru Roots mixed grain penne.
This pasta salad is served warm but can be eaten cold the next day.
A nice bowl of green to welcome spring. Who else is excited about spring showers and growing flowers?
Penne with Arugula, Peas, and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts
1 cup peas (I used organic frozen but fresh is even better - no need to cook fresh)
2 cups gluten-free penne
4 cups arugula
2 cups walnuts, chopped or whole
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
2 TB maple syrup
1-2 cloves garlic
1. In a small to medium size saucepan,  add walnuts, vinegar, oil and garlic. Turn to medium high heat. As soon as bubbles form, turn down to low, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until sauce has thickened and walnuts are toasted.
2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package, adding the frozen peas when you add the noodles. Drain and add a small glug of olive oil.
3. Add handfuls of arugula to bowls, top with pasta and then walnuts and sauce.
Skip the peas and arugula. Before you drain noodles,  add fresh spinach to the bottom of the colander. The hot water from pasta will quick steam spinach. Add the special walnuts and chopped fresh or sundried tomatoes.
When the king smiles, there is life;
his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
Proverbs 16:15
Gentle words are a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie

This is for my neighbor Pattie who is always graciously facebooking me healthy recipes. This recipe below was inspired by a juicer recipe she sent me. For lack of juicer, I make smoothies. Plus it's extra fiber which I appreciate and is good for the wee ones.
This drink has a nice dose of beta carotene and Vitamin C. A quick zing of ginger, a powerful healing spice.

You can easily substitute or add cinnamon for the ginger. Its great idea to add herbs or spices to your smoothies because they are nutritional powerhouses. Also try my Golden Smoothie (uses turmeric), Immunity Strengthening Smoothie, Chamomile Cantaloupe Smoothie, and Blueberry Basil Smoothie.

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie
1 steamed sweet potato, cooled
1 large carrot
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chopped pineapple, frozen (or add ice if fresh)
1" chunk fresh ginger
2-3 dates or 4-6 drops vanilla stevia (I buy NuNaturals on amazon or I make my own with this recipe)
1. Blend ingredients in a high speed blender.
2. Enjoy!
Serves 2-3

There are really two season during the year. Blender soup season and smoothie season. Vitamix hot or Vitamix cold. It's smoothie season again! YAY!

What is your favorite smoothie combination?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pizza Hummus

Hummus is a staple in this household. We just love it! It works great to spread on quesadillas or sandwiches. Makes a great dip for veggies or chips. Add oil and lemon juice for a thick salad dressing. Dress up deviled eggs. Eat simply on crackers.
There are a couple recipes out there for pizza hummus but I found them lacking. A good strong balsamic vinegar changes all that. It adds a little tang and a depth that others don't.
The nutritional yeast is a great addition, making it taste velvety and delicious. It's a great dose of B Vitamins and can be beneficial for breastfeeding moms.

Making your own hummus is a boon on the wallet. Plus this makes plenty to share!

Pizza Hummus
2 cups dried garbanzo beans
2 tsp basil
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 oz organic tomato paste or 1/3 cup packed sundried tomatoes (soaked)
3 cloves garlic
1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or at least 12 hours (we like to soak 24 hours). Rinse the beans and cover with atleast two inches of water. Boil beans until cooked. Drain, reserving some liquid.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender (like this smart stick on amazon). Add reserved garbanzo bean liquid to thin if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shamrock Shake with Peppermint Herb aka Peppermint Chocolate Shake

Skip the extracts and go straight to the herb source. Peppermint!  As much as I'd like to use fresh, that is not possible in the beginning of March (I seriously need a green house). So instead we used dried. I buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

I used cut & sifted peppermint. If using ground peppermint herb, start with 1 tsp. If using fresh peppermint leaf, try a handful fresh and move up from there.
Usually associated with candy canes and toothpaste, peppermint has a lot of wonderful herbal properties. The smell alone can enhance alertness and memory. The peppermint herb can help with stomach upset, gas, colic, nausea, and headaches. Rosemary Gladstar calls peppermint "a blast of pure green energy" in her book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (page 356). Also Demetria Clark, another Master Herbalist, writes in her book Herbal Healing for Children that peppermint is gentle enough for most children's conditions. It's a gentle energy! Just like a walk in nature.
Peppermint is a staple in my herbal apothecary. I like to add it to my mineral-rich herbal teas for better flavor. We drink an infusion of peppermint with thyme and honey for sore throats. I drink an infusion for headaches particularly one from eating dairy or nasal congestion. If heading to bed, I like to add valerian to the infusion. For a delectable treat like tea, I brew the infusion with dried vanilla bean pods and add honey or stevia.
Peppermint is a great choice for a container garden as some of likened the herb to a weed - it's growth is more easily managed if planted in a pot.

I hope you enjoy this delectable and refreshing milkshake-like treat.

And Happy Saint Patrick's Day! What delicious green-inspired recipes will you be making? Three years ago, we made Egg in a Clover. And last year, we made 2-Ingredient Green Ice Cream.

Peppermint Chocolate Shake aka Shamrock Shake with Peppermint Herb
4-6 tsp peppermint,  dried, cut & sifted*
Seeds from 1/3 Vanilla Bean**
2 cups coconut milk
2 frozen bananas
1 oz dark chocolate
Large handful fresh spinach or kale

Blend all ingredients in blender. Serves 2-3.
* Peppermint from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Purveyors of fine herbal products
**I buy really juicy and plump Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Amazon (link here).
This post contains affiliate links. Buying through these links may help to support Sweet Roots! I thank all my sweet readers for your support!
And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history. Always research!
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